A SPECIAL commemoration ceremony took place in Co Cork today to mark the centenary of an important War of Independence event.
On February 4 1922, General Liam Lynch Camp at Kilworth was officially handed over to the Irish Forces from the British following the fight for independence.
It was regarded as a momentous occasion, as the 14,000-acre camp was the first major military installation to be handed over after the signing of the Anglo Irish Treaty in 1921.
“The handover of military barracks represented a huge moment in the social and cultural history of Ireland, particularly in the locality of Kilworth,” a spokesperson for Defence Forces said.
The camp first came to prominence in 1896 when the British army opened ranges there. Prior to World War One, it became a training hub and was often the last residence for soldiers before they entered the battle.
After 1922, Kilworth Camp - known as General Liam Lynch Camp from 1966 - became a vital training facility for the new National Army and now serves Defence Forces personnel preparing for deployment.
On the day it was handed over to Irish Forces, Tom Barry, a local man from Glanworth, marched in with a battalion of soldiers to mark the end of the British Army's relationship with Kilworth.
To commemorate the centenary of the event, 1 Brigade Training Installation, a part of the Defense Forces, marched into camp at 10am morning.
After the parade march, Camp Commandant Tadhg O’ Donoghue made an address to those in attendance - which included family members of Defence Forces personnel - and laid a commemorative wreath.
"As we celebrate the achievements of our country since the handovers took place, I wish to pay tribute to the men and women of my own unit 1 Brigade Training Installation for their patriotism and their work in preparing this camp for today's event," Commandant O’ Donoghue said during his address.
“I wish to thank the family members of serving Defence Forces personnel who have joined us; it is only with your support that we the Defence Forces truly strengthen the nation. I wish to commend the loyalty and service of the 1 Brigade Band, the ex-servicemen of the Irish United Nations Veterans Association Post 25 Fermoy and the Barrack Foremen Staff."